Could it be
that my life has already been complete
that I’ve been married for 50 years
with 5 kids
and 18 grandchildren
living blissfully in a house somewhere in Ann Arbor, Michigan
with one Oscar for best actor sitting as a table weight
and 2 corgis named Spike and Spiegel roaming around?
That all the things I’ve ever been worried about
has already come into fruition
it has already come to pass
it exists already
and all I have to do is imagine it to be so?
The frustration that I feel right now
will actually be rendered obsolete and irrelevant
because it has already come to pass
in a world not too different from the one I’m in now
in a reality that is created by observation and thoughts
which co-exists with what I see before me
that dreams become reality
and ambitions yield successful completions.
This is what I got from quantum reality
when somebody explained it to me
while listening with tipsy ears
I’m pretty sure this is nowhere near the actual definition
but it sure is a nice one to think about nonetheless.
it’s the Korean translation for 4-29
a day that is significant to any Koreans
who lived in Los Angeles back in 1992
when the entire city erupted into angry flames
over the beating of Rodney King
and the shooting of Latasha Harlins.
I was too young to even remember this day,
in a city far removed from the city of Angels,
but as I grew up and understood the history
of where we as Asians marked in the grounds of America
this day and moment of time
was something I had to,
at the very least,
know the entire context and history
and see if there has been changes since.
I still get questions
if Koreans really do hate black people
and I know it all started from this particular event
when a Korean store owner
shot a 16 year old black girl
after a misunderstanding and scuffle gone too far.
I tell them
that it’s not so much of hatred
but a matter of propaganda
and the immense power the media wields
in its sensationalist spastic hand,
in drumming up two divided lines in the sand
this side the Koreans
the other side the blacks
With a group of people still new to the land
barely grasping onto a language claimed by those
who saw them as nothing but laundry cleaners
and another group of people still seen as a menace
barely grasping onto a country claimed by those
who saw them as nothing but dangerous animals
the lines were drawn in between by white
and each side being told by the white hand in power
that one is dangerous and lazy
and the other is greedy and manipulative
never quite seeing the strings that were pulling us
to clash right into each other
to tear each other apart
to hate each other for eternity.
This is what I learned from Saigu.
We do our damnest to keep ourselves organized
no fuss, no mess, no worries
our shoes just the right size
our lives in the structured order
everything simply in its right place.
But when the time comes that a gigantic wrench,
a wrench made out of massive inconvenience and hardships,
is thrown into the routine mechanics of our life
it is the greatest indication that,
we as human beings,
are truly alive.
it is here
that we overcome all adversities
push ourselves to do new things
dare to make a change in our lives
and grow the fuck up
each and every time.
May we never stop growing the fuck up
till the day we die.
When I look back at my life
I will know that
it was all the little
the inside jokes
the food comas
the sky turning fluffy purple
the cardinal sitting on top of my book
the smell of a chilly wind in a Midwestern fall
the taste of hot bread pudding
the butterflies when telling someone I love her
the tear on my lover’s eye saying goodbyes
the ache felt in the heart and gut when saying such goodbyes
the silent comfort reached when words no longer need to be said
the surprises of unexpected kindness
that made it worth living.
A pet peeve confession #20142.
Is it my responsibility or yours
when we make plans to do something
hang out at some place
and then when the date comes
do I let you know
or do you let me know
the night before
if one of us can’t make it?
Suppose I know that you have a busy schedule
and I ask if you can confirm with me on a particular day
and you agree to this whole-heartedly
only for the day to actually come
and I, not hearing anything from you,
reach out to you and ask
“what is, uh, up?”
You respond with
“My bad! My friend’s in town and I’ll be out of town for two weeks!”
What. The. Fuck.
I can feel the veins ever so slightly tighten around my neck
as I contemplate whether I should go to your place
and vandalize it with eggs
for wasting my goddamn motherfucking quasi-precious time.
Such thoughts rage in my ever-so uptight head.
Or if you constantly tell me
“I’ll be busy for quite some time, doing this and that”
and then I see you celebrating your life
showcasing yourself on these horrific social media outlets
of your amazing social well being with drinks and food
and I stare at these with twitching eyes
and wish I can yell across the distance
“HEY FUCKER. JUST TELL ME YOU DON’T WANT TO HANG OUT WITH ME.
YOUR PRETTY WORDS ARE SO FUCKING STUPID
HOLY SHIT FUCKING BALLSACK MOTHERFUCKING DONKEYASSPUNCH.”
to your face and hope that you will receive such words
with complete and utter understanding
of the insignificant frustration that I feel
that I wish to convey to you right now.
this might be a grand gift
that I should stop making any efforts
with your busy you
you busy bee you
(hope a bee goes in your pants and stings you up the ass.)
My mother always told me:
“chew at least 42 times before you swallow your food”
and that anything less would cause me
major indigestion problems
and possibility of food getting stuck in my throat
because I decide that swallowing an entire steak piece whole
would be a smashing brilliant idea.
As if 42 was some magical number
that needs to be followed and practiced
for food to be properly eaten and enjoyed
I, in my determination to be young forever,
scoffed at such a rule
and always enjoyed my food
in such a monstrous relish
that would astonish my friends
and enemies alike.
Today as I enjoyed my deep dish pizza
in the usual wolf-like vigor that I normally do
I have found out that my mother was quite right
that at some point,
my proclamation that I can be young forever
in all aspects of my life,
will soon be a hollow, painful, ring
as I sit on top of a toilet for 20 minutes
cursing at myself
why I didn’t chew 42 times.
As an Asian American
I feel there is a part of me
that must take offense
watching this music video
created by some punk rock woman
named Avril Lavigne
watching her air guitar and sing her way through
a backup group of dancing Japanese girls
and random Japanese words that flow
from her nonsensical lyrics about…
something I don’t know what.
I look at that
I look at the monstrous hot train wreck
and yet I can’t help but feel
“She’s really attractive. In her hot mess kind of way.”
I then realize
I still have a liking for people who don’t have their shit
or their screws in their head all completely together.
Exercising and I don’t quite get along
I know it’s good for my body and general health
and I do have to admit
I do feel quite amazing when I release my
sweaty, sweaty endorphin
(which sounds a lot like dolphins yet genetically engineered
to take over the human world and reclaim their kingdom)
Yet like a compulsive cheating husband
I go to my phone whenever the routine gets too hard
and I stare at whatever useless information
this piece of technological distraction can feed me
just so I don’t have to endure the pain
the way I should.
This poem, in fact,
is being written
right in the middle of a workout routine.
Oh the procrastinating horror!
Like a chronic trivial disease that infects the best of us
I just can’t seem to sleep at a normal time of
let’s say 11pm (or 12am for starters).
I could really fall asleep right at 12am
but there are too many things to do
not necessarily anything truly
of sheer mind blowing significance,
no productive castles to build and mold
but rather utter sheer procrastination
to entertain my self into silly stupor.
Perhaps this is a syndrome
found commonly in us big city folks
where the daily lifestyle is that of chaos
and things to constantly do
while in the smaller, quieter towns
Boredom is your best friend
and sleeping early is a cool thing to do
what else is there to do?
Do I want Boredom as my best friend?
I’ll take sleeping late like a procrastinating monster
any day of the week.
I would like to challenge myself to sleep early.
Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow.
The circles of friends that I possess dearly
they shift and turn in such unpredictable ways
some are ever so subtle and only within years
do I notice the distance that lies between us,
distance not created out of spite
but because of threads that we no longer share.
Some are ripped apart with violent ferocity,
pulled apart by great misunderstanding
or a relationship torn asunder by the pain
we cause to each other
whether it be jealousy or hatred.
I used to hold such islands
with fear and clenched greed,
my hands refusing to let these lands
take the shape as they will
and even if they were changed
by forces caused by elements under my watch,
I still attempt to cling on for dear life.
I have come to learn,
that these lands must change as they will,
and new ones come for me to take part in,
and old ones can always come back
many years later
to memories long past
but not forgotten.